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Old 12-19-2004, 07:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Drinking and Driving: Irony

DUI suspect hit, killed by another
By MIKE MATHIS
Burlington County Times


BORDENTOWN TOWNSHIP - A Mercer County man undergoing a sobriety test along Route 130 was killed early yesterday when his vehicle and a police car were struck by a tractor-trailer whose operator was allegedly drunk, authorities said.

William F. Grieb, 34, of Aspen Court in Hamilton Township was killed instantly in the accident, which occurred in the northbound lanes of Route 130 at Farnsworth Avenue, said Jack Smith, spokesman for the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office.

The truck driver, Shane Gildersleeve, 40, of Valatie, N.Y., was arrested a short time later on Route 130 in Bordentown City, Smith said.

Gildersleeve was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, possession and consumption of alcoholic beverage in a motor vehicle, leaving the scene of a fatal motor vehicle accident, failure to report an accident and other motor vehicle offenses, Smith said.

He was being held in Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly on $10,000 bail, officials said.

Smith said prosecutors would decide whether to file additional charges against Gildersleeve after laboratory tests are concluded.

Bordentown Township police Officer Anthony Biddle stopped Grieb's 2004 Chevrolet Cavalier at 2:09 a.m. because he suspected Grieb was driving while intoxicated, Smith said.

Grieb was on the side of the road undergoing a sobriety test when Gildersleeve's truck plowed into the rear of the police car, a 2003 Dodge Intrepid, pushing the police car into Grieb's vehicle, Smith said.


Grieb and Biddle were standing between the police car and Grieb's vehicle when the accident occurred, the spokesman said.

Biddle moved out of the way and avoided being hit, but Grieb was killed instantly, Smith said.

Biddle, 27, who has been with the Bordentown Township Police Department for three years, was not injured.

Smith said investigators have not determined how fast Gildersleeve was driving.

Gildersleeve drove away and was stopped about a half mile away by Bordentown City Officer Shawn Lafferty, Smith said.

Police recovered containers of open alcoholic beverages inside the cab of the tractor trailer, but Smith said he did not know what they were.

The crash is the second fatal accident involving a tractor-trailer driver in less than two months.

Paul D. Corke, 49, of the Bronx, N.Y., has been charged with reckless driving and two motor vehicle violations in connection with a five-vehicle crash on Route 130 in Burlington Township on Oct. 20 in which a 2-year-old Trenton girl was killed and four others were injured.

Investigators are awaiting the results of lab tests before deciding whether additional charges will be filed against Corke, Smith said.

Yesterday's accident is being investigated by the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office and the Bordentown Township police.
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Old 12-19-2004, 07:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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What a sad story

.
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Old 12-19-2004, 08:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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It is sad, but i'm glad the police officer survived the incident. The guy that died may have killed someone if he was not stopped.
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Old 12-19-2004, 08:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Grieb and Biddle were standing between the police car and Grieb's vehicle when the accident occurred, the spokesman said.
Not a good idea. I've read way too many accounts just like this one, where tired or impaired drivers see a car and "follow" it, not realizing its stopped and plow right into it. Even a parked police cruiser isn't going to provide protection from an SUV or larger at highway speeds.
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Old 12-19-2004, 10:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I can see a wrongful death lawsuit against the police officer and the police deparment. Let's see...failure to safeguard the drunk during the sobriety test, improper police procedure, reckless endangerment, failure to take proper police action, inadequate police training. The list goes on and on.

Sad enough that the guy was killed but no one will take into account the fact that, had he not been stopped by the police in the first place for his erratic driving or whatever it was that drew the cop's attention to him, none of this would have happened. Just watch and see how this accident was all the police officer's fault.

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Old 12-19-2004, 10:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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That might be true about killing someone else, but you are assuming he was drunk...He didn't deserve to die either...It speaks volumes for pulling off the highway and performing the sobriety checks somewhere else and pulling off the highway for all matters...Rubbernecking is a problem on the West Coast and I assume on the East as well, and I know that people are more likely to "run" once they are off of the interstate but that opens another can or worms...My sentiments to all who suffer thru all of this...Unfortunate for all...

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Old 12-19-2004, 10:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Greg Irvine
That might be true about killing someone else, but you are assuming he was drunk...He didn't deserve to die either...It speaks volumes for pulling off the highway and performing the sobriety checks somewhere else and pulling off the highway for all matters...Rubbernecking is a problem on the West Coast and I assume on the East as well, and I know that people are more likely to "run" once they are off of the interstate but that opens another can or worms...My sentiments to all who suffer thru all of this...Unfortunate for all...

Greg
I misspoke when I called that guy a drunk. You are right, he was only BELIEVED to be a drunk at the time he was stopped. Had the officer escorted the alleged drunk off the highway to perform the sobriety test, and had the alleged drunk actually been drunk, and had the drunk killed someone before he was able to get off the highway, the police officer would still be held responsible. Please excuse my cynicism but, unfortunately, that's the world we live in today.

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Old 12-19-2004, 11:11 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by NYCHASM
I misspoke when I called that guy a drunk. You are right, he was only BELIEVED to be a drunk at the time he was stopped. Had the officer escorted the alleged drunk off the highway to perform the sobriety test, and had the alleged drunk actually been drunk, and had the drunk killed someone before he was able to get off the highway, the police officer would still be held responsible. Please excuse my cynicism but, unfortunately, that's the world we live in today.

Charlie
Alleged is right and the man is not guilty just because some cop pulled him over. I have a good friend who is the Chair of the Department of Rehab Counseling at a prestigious university. He has a PhD and was born with cerebral palsy. Numerous cops have actually stopped and interrogated him on the street while he was walking - not driving - because of the cerebral palsy. I have many stories of cops who just stop people or don't believe what the person says and who were later proven to be quite egregiously wrong. I got hit by a car while riding a bicycle when I was 17. Even though I had signaled a left turn, and was badly hurt, the cop assumed it was my fault because I was on a bike and wrote his report accordingly so I had no legal recourse. No investigation or discussion.

Last year a Metairie resident got pulled over for speeding trying to take his brother to the hospital because his brother was having shortness of breath and severe substernal chest pain. The cop didn't believe he was having a heart attack and delayed the driver from getting his brother to the hospital by 30 minute. The man wound up in an ICU for 2 weeks and was subsequently released. The cop and the Parish were sued and settled out of court. The cop is now flipping burgers at the local fast food joint.

The moral of the story? Lets not assume a man is guilty or drunk just because a cop is talking to him/her as cops make mistakes too.
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Old 12-19-2004, 11:16 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Is it just me or does there seem to be a lot of Semi's driving into the Police cars parked along the road lately? It seems like this type of accident has made many headlines recently.

I agree Charlie, some lawyer will find a way to blame the Cop. Police are damned if they do their job and damned if they don't. It's a thankless job that most of us could never do!

Either way, the guy pulled over didn't need to die, just some rehab perhaps.
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Old 12-19-2004, 11:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ScDFACHE
Alleged is right and the man is not guilty just because some cop pulled him over. I have a good friend who is the Chair of the Department of Rehab Counseling at a prestigious university. He has a PhD and was born with cerebral palsy. Numerous cops have actually stopped and interrogated him on the street while he was walking - not driving - because of the cerebral palsy. I have many stories of cops who just stop people or don't believe what the person says and who were later proven to be quite egregiously wrong. I got hit by a car while riding a bicycle when I was 17. Even though I had signaled a left turn, and was badly hurt, the cop assumed it was my fault because I was on a bike and wrote his report accordingly so I had no legal recourse. No investigation or discussion.

Last year a Metairie resident got pulled over for speeding trying to take his brother to the hospital because his brother was having shortness of breath and severe substernal chest pain. The cop didn't believe he was having a heart attack and delayed the driver from getting his brother to the hospital by 30 minute. The man wound up in an ICU for 2 weeks and was subsequently released. The cop and the Parish were sued and settled out of court. The cop is now flipping burgers at the local fast food joint.

The moral of the story? Lets not assume a man is guilty or drunk just because a cop is talking to him/her as cops make mistakes too.
Wow...sorry I conjured up such bad memories. :( I did however correct myself in the FIRST TWO SENTENCES of my subsequent post. What more would you ask of me? I seem to detect some distain for the police in your post. That's fine, just don't lump them all into the same category. I've always told critics to ride around in the back of a police car for a couple of nights before you condemn them. Food for thought my friend.
Have a marvelous day,

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Last edited by NYCHASM; 12-19-2004 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 12-19-2004, 11:58 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm sure they will get lab results during the post on whether he(the deceased) was drunk or not. Still, he didn't deserve to die. Usually getting a driver out of the car for sobriety checks indicates more than a mere suspicion. I know that road well and it has 8 foot shoulders and 2-twelve foot lanes. The truck driver, if found to be drunk, should be charged with death by auto, the equivelant of murder in NJ.
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